Monday, July 28, 2008

Word from Chung Yi

We FINALLY heard from our agency about what Chung Yi is saying in response to the various rumors floating around. Thankfully, there isn't any specifically bad news for us. Unfortunately, however, there really wasn't any good news either. In fact, there was very little news at all. Basically they are saying that the rumors are not true - nothing has changed in their policies or restrictions. So that means that nothing is likely to change anytime soon, either (i.e. referrals will likely continue to be either slow or non-existant). So while I'm glad nothing happened to immediately kick us out of the program, we are still concerned about the overall wait time.
Here is the email we received from our director, for those who are interested:

"As you may know, I returned from Taiwan on July 20th, after traveling with our first Taiwan family to meet their new child. Today I will write you a short note regarding the outcome of my meeting with orphanage Director, Ms. Kao; Assistant Director, Ms. Chuang; Supervisor of Social Work Section, Ms. Kuo; and Social Worker; Ms. Teng. First and foremost, Ms. Kao, the Director, indicated that they wish to continue working with ASIA as our contract stands – that is, working for the placement of both non special needs and special needs children. The wait for non special needs children, particularly infants, is very unpredictable. It is based upon how many infants become available and this greatly fluctuates. While they did not give exact numbers, they made it clear that at this time few non special needs infants are available – the length of wait to referral directly corresponds to the numbers of infants available. They did not share with me how many agencies they work with; however, they did state clearly that some agencies ONLY have contracts to place special needs children, while others, like ASIA, have contracts to place both special and non special needs children. The majority of the children available for adoption is older or are sibling groups. They did not understand why Chung Yi sibling groups were not easily adopted in our country. I explained that we have many sibling groups available in the U.S. for adoption; therefore, some families choose to adopt domestically rather than internationally. I also explained that many families prefer adopting a single, healthy infant. I raised the question again of the appearance that the U.S. is not receiving healthy infants from Chung Yi. Ms. Kao, explained, as she did previously (see ASIA’s May 26th email to Taiwan families) that the Foundation does not try to influence the choice a birth family or guardian makes. Families/guardians make the choice of adoptive family based upon their own desires or subjective assessment of which family will provide the child with the best opportunities and stability. I explained the adoptive families’ frame of reference to help the Foundation leadership understand the emotional and stressful position adoptive families experience during this wait. I told them that I will always communicate confirmed information from Chung Yi to all of ASIA’s Taiwan “families in waiting” via email letter and at the same time. I told them that I will neither rely on nor support rumors – that I will convey to families only what we know directly from the Foundation. ASIA will not support rumors, but we will inquire with Chung Yi to confirm or deny rumors or conflicting information. In my opinion, the Foundation’s leadership appears very devoted to all the children in their care, and they seek the best situation for those children. The Foundation has an obligation to place the children first domestically, then internationally – just as many other countries do. While Taiwan is not a signer on the Hague Convention, Chung Yi does follow most of the same guidelines and a priority to domestic placements is a Hague requirement. ASIA also follows the same Hague Convention requirements when working with Chung Yi. They did not provide me with any changes to current policy. As it stands, when they have changes to policy, they will inform all Foundation contracted agencies with a memorandum outlining those policies. ASIA will forward this information to waiting families as soon as possible. So for the moment, everything stands as it was two weeks ago:• ASIA contracts with Chung Yi Foundation for the placement of both special and non special needs children• The wait to referral for a healthy infant is completely unpredictable. If you choose this path with Chung Yi, I recommend you be prepared to wait several years or more; and if it happens sooner, that’s a beautiful surprise.• The referral wait for a healthy older child (two and older) is likely to be shorter, depending upon how many families are in the queue.• The referral wait for special needs and sibling groups will be the shortest.• The wait after referral to the final court date runs approximately the same for all children being adopted. That is completely dependent upon review of paperwork and availability of court dates.• Chung Yi and ASIA agree to keep the lines of communication open between us. While I wish I could tell you a precise timetable, I cannot. It would be unethical to promise something I know to be otherwise. The good news is that the children from Chung Yi appear very well cared for, loved and are as healthy as any medical condition allows them to be. Their environment is clean and cozy; it’s a lovely country with kind people – the children come from a strong heritage and tradition. And in my opinion, this counts for a lot."


nolablossom said...

Hi Amber - we're with the same agency. I see you are almost finished with your home study! yeah!

I got the same letter from the director. "several years or more" for a referral, this is not good at all.

Not sure what to do at this point. I'm so ---o disappointed.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amber. I don't know how I found your blog, but I just adopted a 7 year old from Chung-Yi. We had a wonderful experience. Although the agency we used no longer places children from Chung-Yi, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about travel and things. Good luck on your adoption. My email is: if you ever need to chat about something.